Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (129)

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

129. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Finance the steps he is taking to ensure householders with issues of household subsidence can avail of home insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53068/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

At the outset the Deputy should note that neither I, as Minister for Finance, nor the Central Bank can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products or have the power to direct insurance companies to provide cover to specific individuals or businesses. This position is reinforced by the EU framework for insurance (Solvency II Directive) which expressly prohibits Member States from doing so.

The provision of insurance is a commercial matter for insurance companies, which is based on a proper assessment of the risks they are willing to accept. This assessment will in many cases include insurers own presumptions based on their private modelling and research around issues such as subsidence. Unfortunately, if an insurer is of the view that there is a significant probability of a claim for subsidence or flooding reasons because of where a property is located, it generally is not going to provide insurance cover.  This is because it will argue that there is no longer the possibility of a claim but the certainty of one and therefore this type of risk can no longer be described as an insurable one.  

Finally, you should be aware that a consumer can make a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman in relation to any dealings with a Financial Services or Insurance provider during which they feel they have been unfairly treated. In addition, individuals who are experiencing difficulty in obtaining insurance or believe that they are being treated unfairly may contact Insurance Ireland which operates a free Insurance Information Service for those who have queries, complaints or difficulties in relation to insurance (01 676 1914 or feedback@insuranceireland.eu).